Leopold Conservation Award Program - Utah 2014

Utah 2014 Johnson Mountain Ranch Aurora, UT Leopold Conservation Award Recipient

Johnson Mountain Ranch is owned and operated by Stuart Johnson with this wife Carma, along with their son Jared. Stuart’s grandfather started the original family farm and ranch in Utah’s Sevier Valley in 1904.

The Johnsons run a herd of cow calf pairs and replacement heifers during summer and fall. In order to keep the herd during the winter and spring, the family has made great efforts to acquire additional grazing land and improve what they manage. They purchased winter grazing permits on the San Rafael Desert and have purchased spring range to make the operation more complete for grazing all year on very different landscapes.

Johnson Mountain Ranch

With help from The Grazing Improvement Program, NRCS, Division of Wildlife Resources, USU Extension and others, the family has worked to improve the health and productivity of the ranch. Their practices include developing a rotational grazing program, removing juniper and other brush, and reseeding spring range infested with cheat grass.

Wildlife is always considered when determining which seeds are planted, how fences are built and how pastures will be utilized. The Johnsons manage the ranch as a Cooperative Wildlife Management Unit, and have hosted hunters for over 50 years.

“As our range improves…our cattle are becoming more productive. Production costs decrease as the grazing season is extended,” Stuart Johnson said. “Our goal is to take the opportunities we have been given by those who struggled before us and through our efforts be able to continue their legacy for future generations. We can only do that by making sure our land is healthy and productive. “

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